UPS to buy up to 150 electric cargo aircraft

On April 7, 2021, United Parcel Service (UPS) announced plans to purchase up to 150 electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) cargo aircraft. 

The express delivery giant, together with its UPS Flight Forward subsidiary, would buy the eVTOL cargo aircraft from Beta Technologies (BETA) to supplement its air services specifically for small and mid-size markets. 

“The aviation industry is focusing on small aircraft, which UPS uses to serve many small and medium-sized communities, to develop groundbreaking, sustainable electric-powered aircraft,” read UPS statement.

BETA’s electric cargo aircraft is made of four fixed vertical propellers and one pusher propeller for forward flight. BETA’s 635kg eVTOL has a range of 250 miles (402km) and a cruising speed of up to 170 miles per hour (274km/h). The electric cargo aircraft is suited for time-dependent operations with zero operational emissions. 

BETA’s electric cargo aircraft would only land in specialized UPS areas, where the express delivery giant has special eVTOL battery charging stations. The electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing cargo aircraft would be able to charge in an hour or less. 

The first batch of ten eVTOL aircraft is scheduled to arrive in 2024.


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